Shortly after Intel announced it was shutting down its NUC computer business last summer, Asus revealed that it had acquired a non-exclusive license to continue selling and supporting existing NUC products, as well as developing new ones.
Now it looks like the company has revealed it’s planning to launch the first ROG NUC, which is expected to be a compact gaming computer marketed under the company’s Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand. Update: The ROG NUC is official. It’s a 2.5 liter gaming desktop with up to an Intel Core Ultra Ultra 9 Meteor Lake processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 graphics.
Asus has only posted a brief teaser on social media so far, but the company plans to officially unveil the computer on January 8th during its ROG CES 2024 press event.
There’s no word on the processor, graphics, memory, storage, or other key features. Given that this is an NUC-branded device, it seems safe to assume that it will have an Intel processor, but it’s unknown if that means we’re looking at a system with a Meteor Lake processor and Intel Arc integrated graphics, or a computer with a Raptor Lake Refresh chip and discrete graphics.
What we can tell from the teaser video is that the first ROG NUC will have RGB lighting, and a set of ports that includes at least one Thunderbolt port, one HDMI port, two USB Type-A ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and what looks like an RJ45 Ethernet port.
We should find out more about the ROG NUC’s physical design, port selection, specs, and expansion options on January 8th.
While Asus is correctly describing the system as the first ROG NUC, it’s not the first NUC built for gaming. Intel had played in this territory for years, beginning with the launch of the Intel “Skull Canyon” NUC in 2016. That model sported a 45-watt, 6th-gen Intel Core i7-6770HQ quad-core processor with Intel Iris Pro 580 integrated graphics.
In the following years, Intel launched the Hades Canyon (with 8th-gen Intel Core chips and AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics), before moving to a larger 5-liter chassis and a modular design for its Ghost Canyon, Beast Canyon, and Dragon Canyon NUCs with 9th-gen, 11th-gen, and 13th-gen chips and support for discrete graphics.
Now that Intel is no longer making NUC systems, it’s unclear whether Asus plans to continue using existing form factors or if the company will branch out into entirely new designs. But given that Asus has only been handling the NUC brand for about half a year, my guess is that the thing that Asus is calling the ROG NUC has likely been under development since before Intel handed Asus the NUC brand.
So I wouldn’t be surprised if the Asus ROG NUC is either an Asus ROG mini PC with the NUC name slapped on, or an Intel NUC with the Asus ROG name attached. Not that it really matters all that much. It’ll just be interesting to see whether its design draws more from its ROG or NUC predecessors.
Gamers, get ready for a gaming revolution at #CES2024ROG!🔥We are about to unveil the world’s first #ROG #NUC! Embrace the ultimate freedom to conquer in style and revolutionize the way you game. 🚀📆Mark your calendar & join us for the event on Jan 8th! https://t.co/CHb4tVS4XS pic.twitter.com/eRAWjZkc2X
— ROG Global (@ASUS_ROG) January 4, 2024